The Year in Reading 2011


Over on LibraryThing, there’s a discussion going on about the five best books everyone has read in 2011. (The discussion was inspired by the Millions’ great series, A Year in Reading.) When I looked back through my 2011 reads, I was surprised to find that there were exactly five books that I rated 5 stars. Usually, I am lucky to read one 5-star book in a year. Of course, three of these books were rereads, so the high rating is kind of a given. Still, I think they represent a good cross-section of what I like to read, and all of them are terrific books.

My favorite reads of 2011 were:

  • Five Great Short Stories by Anton Chekhov — classic literature
  • The Church of the Dead Girls by Stephen Dobyns — thriller (reread)
  • Brighten the Corner Where You Are by Fred Chappell — gentle fabulist fantasy (reread)
  • A Room With a View by E.M. Forster — classic literature (reread)
  • And my favorite book of the year: The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell (science fiction)

There were many books that just missed out on getting 5 stars; call them high 4’s. I would definitely recommend any of those books as well, so here they are:

  • 11/22/63 by Stephen King
  • 2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke
  • All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy
  • Anathem by Neal Stephenson
  • Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick
  • Galileo’s Dream by Kim Stanley Robinson
  • The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  • Into the Wildby Jon Krakauer
  • Lord of the Flies by William Golding
  • The Ruins by Scott Smith
  • The Shipping News by Annie Proulx
  • Tinkers by Paul Harding
  • The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells
  • The Word for World Is Forest by Ursula K. Le Guin

What were your favorite reads of 2011?

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7 Responses to “The Year in Reading 2011”

  1. I’m glad to hear that 11/22/63 is as good as it sounds. There’s been nothing but positive reviews for it. It’ll probably be my first “doorstop” book of 2012 :D

  2. I’m getting ready to draft a favorites post, and I’m having a really hard time narrowing things down. I had a crap year in terms of numbers, but the quality was way way up. Decisions, decisions.

    I enjoyed your lists very much and see lots of books I’d like to add to my own TBR.

  3. Isn’t it better to read fewer books of higher quality? I’ve found my quality of reading has gone up too, since I’ve been keeping a blog and have gotten more thoughtful about my reading choices.

  4. 11/22/63 is a big book but a quick read.

  5. I’ve been wanting to read The Sparrow for over two years, but I keep missing the opportunity. I just placed it on hold from the library, so I’m hoping to get to it in the very near future. I’m actually starting to get a bit nervous – I don’t think I’ve encountered a single reader who didn’t completely love it.

  6. Biblibio – That would make me nervous too. Fortunately, I didn’t have such preconceptions. My best advice would be to give the story time to roll out. Russell takes her time but I think it is worth it.

  1. 1 2011 Reads « Seymour Writes

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